In "The Night of the Gun," David Carr redefines memoir with the revelatory story of his years as an addict and chronicles his journey from crack-house regular to regular columnist for "The New York Times." Built on sixty videotaped interviews, legal and medical records, and three years of reporting, "The Night of the Gun" is a ferocious tale that uses the tools of journalism to fact-check the past.
Carr's investigation of his own history reveals that his odyssey through addiction, recovery, cancer, and life as a single parent was far more harrowing -- and, in the end, more miraculous -- than he allowed himself to remember.
Over the course of the book, he digs his way through a past that continues to evolve as he reports it.That long-ago night he was so out of his mind that his best friend had to pull a gun on him to make him go away?
A visit to the friend twenty years later reveals that Carr was pointing the gun.His lucrative side business as a cocaine dealer?
Not all that lucrative, as it turned out, and filled with peril.His belief that after his twins were born, he quickly sobered up to become a parent?
Nice story, if he could prove it.The notion that he was an easy choice as a custodial parent once he finally was sober?
He set out to become a nice suburban alcoholic and succeeded all too well, including two more arrests, one that included a night in jail wearing a tuxedo.Ferocious and eloquent, courageous and bitingly funny, "The Night of the Gun" unravels the ways memory helps us not only create our lives, but survive them.